Study finds children with Down syndrome at risk for developing symptoms of sleep disordered breathing


The authors of this study set out to investigate sleep patterns in children with Down syndrome by asking parents to complete a questionnaire on sleep habits. Typical sleep problems included sleep maintenance problems, snoring, and disordered breathing.

The authors administered a 33 item questionnaire on children’s sleep habits to the parents of 35 children with Down syndrome, (mean age, 12.65 years, range 7–18 years).

They found that parents reported that 85% of the sample had sleep disturbance scores in the clinical range and that they reported elevated scores on bedtime resistance, sleep anxiety, night wakings, parasomnias, leep disordered breathing and daytime sleepiness subscales.

The authors conclude that the children in their small sample were at risk for developing symptoms of sleep disordered breathing as well as additional unrelated sleep problems.

Parental report of sleep problems in Down syndrome, Breslin, J. et al., in Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55: 1086–1091

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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